But never mind Valentine’s Day, I have to tell you about all the fun things I’ve found this week. First, I got a copy of “Plenty More” – the newest cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi (writer of “Jerusalem”) from the library. I’m currently lusting over his delicious-looking Rice Salad with Nuts and Sour Cherries (click the link to go the the recipe on Serious Eats) and his Tagliatelle with Lemon and Walnuts (link to Food Republic with review and recipe). I’ll make sure to tell you how they are when I give them a try!
“Today in History” is a web-based almanac created by the Library of Congress, the preeminent information collector and source in the US. Every day of the year features a snapshot of an important event that happened on that date somewhere in America. Each entry includes a description of the event and various primary-source materials such a photos, maps, sound recordings, or scans of documents that come from the Library of Congress’ “American Memory” collection (which comprises over 9 million items pertaining to American history). Most of the information comes from the Library’s collection itself, but it is also supported by information from well-known history books and vetted websites. You can navigate to “yesterday” or “tomorrow” easily through links at the top of the page, or use the archive page to search for more specific topics. This is a great site for teachers, students, and researchers alike because of the proliferation of primary sources!
The David Rumsey Map Collection is a website featuring one of the largest personal collections of maps in the US. Mr. David Rumsey has committed to making his collection available online and available to the public. The website currently hosts over 54,000 items from his collection and is updated on a monthly basis. The majority of the maps are of North and South America, rare, and from the 18th and 19th centuries. However, there are some maps of the globe itself and other areas (like Europe, Asia, Africa) as well. They have a variety of kinds of maps too, like wall maps, atlases, sea charts, children’s, and pocket maps. The oldest maps are from the 1760’s and the newest the 1950’s. David Rumsey is also a software maverick. He uses his knowledge of software to display his collection in different ways. His proprietary “Luna Browser” pops up and allows users to view the entire collection or perform keyword searches across the collection.
You can also sort maps by category, browse by specialized sections like “who” “where” or “when,” or save groups of maps for later perusal. After finding and clicking on the map you wish to view, a side-bar gives the publisher/author of the map, date, a short title, location of publication, size, and brief explanation. The map scans are extremely high-resolution, so you can zoom-in and get extreme detail on each map. You can even save and download the scans. This collection is amazing! For someone who wants to find a range of sources on a single location (range of dates, types of sources, even war maps) it is a great resource!